Programs 2018-11-28T22:23:56+00:00

Through exhibitions, programs and partnerships we strive to be an active community resource, connecting contemporary audiences to Esherick’s brilliant creations and the beauty of the everyday.

Current Exhibition

The Art of the Stool: 25th Annual Woodworking Competition Exhibition

September 9, 2018 – December 30, 2018

Wharton Esherick’s three-legged stools are some of his most iconic pieces. In the 1950s, Wharton began forming scraps of wood whose grain was too interesting to burn as firewood, into the seats of stools. No two were exactly the same; he shaped and sculpted each seat to whatever form the wood grain suggested, always keeping comfort in mind. To celebrate 25 years of the woodworking competition and exhibition, we revisit the challenge of the stool.

Through the annual woodworking competition, the Museum encourages resourceful, innovative thinking that will result in objects that surprise and delight. We see the Wharton Esherick legacy as a constant source of inspiration across the creative fields. The Art of the Stool includes work by Jeremy Adams, Larry Bamburg & Lumber Club, Ron Cook, Kevin Costante, David Ebner, Danny Kamerath, Kieran Kinsella, Aled Lewis, Wayne Locke, Ryan Meacham, Julia Michalski, Ivar Raphael, John Sheridan, Ross Silverman, Bradford Smith, Brendan Tay, Geoffrey Warner, and Mark Wedekind.

Exhibitions are displayed in our Visitor Center and are free to the public. Please note that this does not include entry into the Museum – for which admission and advance reservations are required.

Current Offsite Exhibition

Painting of Wharton's bed with window above

Becky Suss/Wharton Esherick

November 16, 2018 – January 26, 2019

Opening reception: Friday, November 16, 6–8PM

Fleisher/Ollman, 1216 Arch Street – 5A, Philadelphia, PA, 19107

The Wharton Esherick Museum is thrilled to partner with Fleisher/Ollman to present the exhibition Becky Suss/Wharton Esherick. For the exhibition, Suss juxtaposes her paintings of Esherick’s interiors with actual Esherick objects lent by the museum. Suss is known for paintings that explore domestic interiors, from architecture and furniture to artworks, decor, and books. Her paintings are oblique memorials to family and family friends who once inhabited the interiors she depicts. While always devoid of figures, the paintings are nonetheless portraits of people. Diverging from her usual role of memory painter, in the Esherick series, Suss trained her eye on a very specific set of interiors, engaging with the actual spaces in “real” time during an informal residency at the museum, as well as through photographic documentation. In Spring 2019, Suss will lend several paintings from the series to the Wharton Esherick Museum to be temporarily integrated into the collection there, completing the collaboration.

Read the full press release here.

Becky Suss/Wharton Esherick will be on display at Fleisher/Ollman in Philadelphia. For open hours visit fleisher-ollmangallery.com. Keep an eye on our event calendar for additional programming in conjunction with the exhibition.

Upcoming Exhibition

Artist Opportunities

Art at the Airport: 9th Annual Imprint Exhibition
Art at the Airport: 9th Annual Imprint Exhibition
Details coming soon
25th Annual Woodworking Competition & Exhibition
25th Annual Woodworking Competition & Exhibition
Entry Deadline Closed
The 10th Annual Imprint Competition & Exhibition
The 10th Annual Imprint Competition & Exhibition
Deadline: February 1, 2019

Everything Else

Center for Creative Works Residency

In April of 2018, the Wharton Esherick Museum launched a new partnership with the Center for Creative Works, an art studio focusing on developing creative workplace potential and cultural identity for people with intellectual disabilities. During the residency, six artists from CCW will be on site weekly to draw inspiration from Esherick’s work through observation, sketching, model-making and discussion. With guidance from furniture makers Ken Burton and Walt Wynne the resident CCW artists will focus on stool design and construction, refining their style and technique at the CCW woodshop and facilities in Wynnewood.

Philly Touch Tours

With support from the National Endowment for the Arts and other generous funders, the Wharton Esherick Museum has engaged Philly Touch Tours to design, develop and host accessible touch experiences for people with vision loss. Philly Touch Tours LLC, founded in 2015, provides accessibility consulting and touch tour program design for museums and cultural institutions and Disability Awareness and Sensitivity Training for museum and cultural institution staff. Philly Touch Tours will, in collaboration with the Museum, design and facilitate touch tours, provide training for Museum staff and volunteers on leading tours for individuals with vision loss and produce Braille and large print materials. The program aims to inspire curiosity and facilitate a meaningful experience for people with vision loss, while disseminating information about The Wharton Esherick Museum’s history, its collection and its active engagement with the public.


Launched in 2014, CraftNOW Philadelphia unites the leading institutions and artists of Philadelphia’s craft community in a celebration of the city’s rich legacy of craft, its internationally-recognized contemporary craft scene, and its important role as an incubator for arts based in wood, clay, fiber, metal and glass. Through both creating and spotlighting events during the week of the Philadelphia Museum of Art Craft Show, CraftNOW invites locals and visitors alike to explore Philadelphia’s innovations in the world of the handmade.

The Wharton Esherick Museum is a proud member of the consortium of individuals, galleries, museums, universities, retailers, and civic organizations who participate in CraftNOW each November. For details on CraftNOW events for 2018 visit our event calendar.

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